Good route to ride from Pleasanton/Livermore to Modesto?
I'm thinking about biking to visit a friend in Modesto, from the Pleasanton BART station. Does anyone know a good way to get there? I prefer safe roads and simple directions, of course trying to minimize distance at the same time.
Getting across the hills, it looks like my options are Altamont Pass Rd, Patterson Pass Rd (which I've ridden and seems safe but hilly), and Tesla Rd/Corral Hollow Rd/Hwy J2. Google maps prefers Altamont Pass, but I've ridden Patterson Pass and it seems pretty safe to ride (and gorgeous!).
Google maps wants me to go up through Manteca, then parallel to Moffet Blvd / 99 down to Modesto. A shorter option is to go south through Tracy and eventually across Maze Blvd.
Any help or ideas would be appreciated. I'm thinking Patterson Pass to Maze Blvd looks simplest and safest. But I'm not sure how many of those one-lane roads in the middle of nowhere are decent for bikes -- Maze Blvd, for example, seems to have a decent shoulder.